Early signing date for football has merits


The debate about an early signing period for Division I college football continues.

Several conferences have already stated their support. Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads is among the coaches, who believe in the benefits of an early signing period.

In that roughly two-month period between the end of the season and the February signing date, staffs across the country shift between visiting already committed prospects and trying to identify / sign new ones.

For the high school football prospects, who have already made decisions by December, an early period would let them end the recruiting process.

Rhoads spent the last two weeks of recruiting in a different city each day. Most days, there were multiple destinations. He was shuffling between committed prospects and searching for others.

What tends to happen now is that a few top prospects switch their allegiance late and the ripple effect from those decisions impacts others.

Poaching of recruits is a rite of passage in January and February. An early signing period would reduce that exercise for the prospects, who have identified their final choice by December.

The NCAA already permits an early signing period in mid-December for junior college prospects planning to be early enrollees.

My question is … why limit it to only JC kids for the mid-December signing date? It sounds like some administrators and coaches feel the same way.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow


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